Like a lots of dance music fans, I regularly read Resident Advisor's Top 10 Festivals of the Month to get an idea of what's going on in the global world of electronic music along with some inspiration for hastily booked trips abroad.
I, like most people, was surprised to read that this month their No.1 festival is the 10th Anniversary of gabber-centric weekender, Bangface, but my jaw truly hit the floor when they suggested that my mate Tommy might be providing the set of the weekend.
Tommy, or DJ Bi-Furious, as he's known to Resident Advisor, is a huge fan of Bangface and has long eulogising to me about how great the weekender is. It was one of the main reasons he moved to London from Belfast and he played his first ever set at it last year for their St. Patrick's Day takeover.
He's been DJing for just over a year so it's been very surreal to see Tommy name-checked in RA's no.1 festival of the month. I wanted to get a handle on how he's coping with his new found fame, so I hit him up for a quick chat. Brilliantly, Tommy was on the train to Bangface when he answered.
Tommy AKA DJ Bi-Furious at Bangface Weekender 2017
How does it feel to be a recommended DJ at Resident Advisor's No.1 recommended festival?
Pretty surreal to be honest. I was at work when the article got published and all of a sudden my phone was going mental with notifications. I went from playing my first ever DJ set outside a house party to being mentioned by Resident Advisor within a year, which I think must be some sort of record.
Did you have any idea they'd been following you so closely?
Not at all. I thought I was so underground that the only people listening to my Soundcloud were people I knew.
Can we expect an RA Exchange or Real Scenes appearance any time soon?
I’m up for doing it if they are.
For those who don't know describe your typical DJ Bi-Furious set?
I mostly play Ghettotech, Techno and Gabber. I actually came up with the name as a joke about it being a good DJ name for someone that plays the normal style of Ghettotech, which has lyrics all about ass, titties and blowjobs, along with some female positive Ghettotech. I used it when I played my first ever set at a private, 60 person festival that some friends run in a mansion in the South of England. It ended up sticking and it actually kind of works for what I play now. Ghettotech is all very sexual and about shaking your arse, whilst Gabber is usually associated with gritted teeth, screaming and Dutch people moving impossibly fast. I’ve found quite a lot of tracks that have Ghettotech lyrics mixed in with the stereotypical hard dutch Gabber kick. It’s fun music to play to a crowd.
You're playing Bangface Weekender, which I think it's safe to say, you love. Why is it so good?
It’s the only thing I’ve been to where absolutely nobody is pretentious and everyone is on the same vibe. It’s so unique that people come year after year and from across the world. The people that attend are always on such good form that they’re even listed on the lineup as The Bangface Hard Crew. The music is always a really eclectic mix of some really weird shit too. It’s the only place you’d find 2 Unlimited, Napalm Death and Helena Hauff on the same lineup.
How long have you been going for?
Since 2010. The first tune I heard at it was Big Noise by Radium. It’s safe to say it changed my life. It planted the seed about moving to London and introduced me to all sorts of music genres that were new to me.
You're a big fan of the Bangface add ons - the signs, the characters. What are some of your favourite bits of Bangface?
The signs are absolutely one of my favourites. People go all out on the costumes too. There’s a lot of traditions that come with going to Bangface. Each year’s theme gives inspiration for the signs and costumes that people come up with. There’s also the absolutely ludicrous TV studio that broadcasts throughout the entire weekend. They’ve had Bangface Blind Date, eat a raw Fry Up competition, a 20 minute long chat about crisp flavours and karaoke.
You almost died getting there last year right?
Yeah. I really wanted to see Snap! and Blackout Crew who were on during the evening of the first day, so I hitched a ride in a friend’s car with two other friends. Just outside Luton a lorry took us out and then we got hit by another car. I had to go to A&E and get a new hole in my back looked at. A few hours later when I was patched up we were on a Coach headed straight there. Less than 24 hours later, I played at the St Paddy’s Day Irish Takeover. That story has gone down in Bangface infamy. People sometimes go to extreme lengths to get to Bangface, even in the worst of circumstances.
What advice would you have for a Bangface n00b?
Don’t go too hard too soon. It’s all too easy to stay up all night Thursday chatting shit in a stranger’s chalet. You might hear people saying “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” which are words to live by. Also at some point it’s good to get some sleep.
Where and when can people catch you at Bangface 2018?
I’m on at 5:15pm in The Queen Vic as part of the Celtic Takeover.
What T shirt will you be wearing?
I haven’t decided yet. I might go with one that says MORE BLACKS, MORE DOGS, MORE IRISH.
What song will you drop first?
Knuck if you Buck by Von Bikrav. It’s a great tune that has rap lyrics with a Gabber kick. It works really well.
Can I be your manager?
Will you get me more gigs?
Bangface Weekender is on this weekend, follow them for future events